Very possibly the most tragic waste of Oxbridge educations ever broadcast. The programme that made all of America sit up and say: what? That put Spam back in the national pantry, launched crossdressing as a national craze,... more » and made Rene Descartes a household name. That dramatically streamlined the high-school geek identification process.« less
William E. from ATKINSON, IL Reviewed on 3/20/2013...
The "Personal Best" and "Personel Second Best" stuff is already included with the original stuff. If you own the rest of the stuff this stuff is fluff.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Give us a break A&E!
Howie | Arkansas | 09/12/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Here we have yet *another* retread of the Monty Python set!
From the studio description of this set:
"Python is back and heavier than ever! This very special, limited-edition release features ultra-collectible packaging, and is jam-packed with the most side-splitting British comedy ever to cross the pond!
Included are 21 discs filled with THE COMPLETE MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS, and packed with every madcap moment from the program's four year run, the Personal Best DVDs featuring the Pythons' personal best sketch picks, plus 2 live DVDs and 2 can't miss, brand new Monty Documentaries, Before the Flying Circus and Monty Python Conquers America, detailing the Pythons' rise to the pinnacle of comedic greatness.
So, this holiday season, don't miss out on a must-have certain to thrill any comedy lover with this brand-new packaging of Britcom's finest!"
So... we get "The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus", the "personal best" DVDs.. (are these really needed if you have the full set?) and a couple of "new" documentaries for almost double the cost of the 16 ton megaset.
Hmmm... I recommend that you save your money and get this instead: The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus 16-Ton Megaset
...especially now that "The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus Collector's Edition Megaset" is out-of-print.
****** UPDATE ******
A&E has announced the October 27th release of a 2-DVD set titled Monty Python: The Other British Invasion containing two documentaries, "Before the Flying Circus" and "Monty Python Conquers America", which were previously available only as part of the "Collector's Edition Megaset." A&E is making these available to purchase separately for all the longtime fans who already had the rest of the material on this megaset. The MSRP for the new release is $[...] for 110 minutes of material.
********* UPDATE #2 ********* The "Monty Python: The Monster Box Set (The Definitive, Outrageously Luxurious Special Edition Collection)" will apparently *not* receive a US release and is now OOP in the UK, but is available from some UK marketplace vendors.
See it here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Monty-Python-Definitive-Outrageously-Collection/dp/B000W8AB22
This set contains:
"Life of Brian" Special Edition "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" "The Meaning of Life" "And Now for Something Completely Different" "Live at the Hollywood Bowl" A sampler of The Personal Bests The complete Flying Circus TV series An exclusive t-shirt And a completely lifeless inflatable parrot!
Still in print is: "Monty Python - Almost Everything Box Set" It, too, is a UK only release: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Monty-Python-Almost-Everything-Box/dp/B001NV7706/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1273772915&sr=1-1
This set contains everything in "The Monster Box Set" *except" the t-shirt and completely lifeless inflatable parrot.
So... if you don't own *any* Monty Python and have a multi-region DVD player get one of the UK sets. Otherwise the above recommendation still holds. "
The Nitpicker's Guide to MPFC DVD sets
Michael Powell | Roanoke, VA USA | 12/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those who are on the fence about this set, I have to say I highly recommend it. Yes, most of the material has been released before, but the two new discs, along with the very compact new packaging, make this a must-have in my opinion. Each of the two new documentaries are an hour long, but to me they felt like two hours each. I don't mean that in a bad way... they are just chock-full of rare footage and new revelations, so I got more out of them than what you'd normally expect out of an hour-long DVD featurette.
Before The Flying Circus is completely black-and-white, but given that the bulk of the vintage film clips would be b&w themselves, leaving the new interviews in color would be rather jarring, since every five minutes or so it'd cut back to b&w film. Python Conquers America is in full-color, which is just as appropriate, and watching both back-to-back (in chronological order) makes each seem stronger. Terry Gilliam's quite detailed description of each of the four different title sequences appears on the "Before The Flying Circus" disc, as does the long-lost "Political Choreographer" sketch, both in full color.
For those like me who don't have time to watch every single disc before deciding whether to sell/trade their existing sets, I have checked the data size and creation date/time of each disc. Apart from DVD 12, all of the 14 main discs are identical to the original Mega Set (including DVD 1 being listed as a "fix", which may have happened before the original set hit store shelves). The data size for #12 is the same as the original one, but the creation date is from 2008 and for some reason the DVD-ROM content is missing. That means the link to [...] won't work, but there doesn't seem to be any other alterations to the disc.
I did notice that the disc artwork lists the first episode as "L. Henry Thripshaw's Disease" rather than "E. Henry..." as it's supposed to be, but the menu on both versions simply calls it "Henry Thripshaw's Disease". My best guess is that there was a very minor correction that needed to be made, whether in the navigation of the menus, a typo in someone's filmography or a wrong answer to a trivia question. I'm fairly confident that there's no significant difference in the new #12, and whatever may have changed is probably an improvement. The only potential worry would be if something was censored on the disc. The opening sketch is the Tudor Job Agency, so I thought there may have been something in the background that needed to be blurred out (an underage model, obscene material, etc.), but I didn't notice anything like that. It's possible that a word or two may have been dropped out of the audio track, but I've not had time to listen that carefully.
The contents of the two discs of Monty Python LIVE! are also identical to the originals at the data level, although the disc art has been updated a bit for this new set. As for the Personal Best specials, the six episodes are now on 3 dual-layer (NOT double-sided) discs rather than six individual single-layer ones. I did notice that each program is missing approximately 50MB of data as compared to the original DVDs, but the "Holy Grail" DVD trailer found on the individual "Personal Best" DVDs has been dropped, which could account for some of that. All the extras seem to have been ported over.
All in all, even if you have one of the previous sets, I would recommend buying this set and selling off the old one(s), partially for the great new documentaries, but also because the packaging for this set is the best yet, and one of the nicest sets I've ever owned. As has probably been mentioned elsewhere, the discs are in two separate fold-out "Digibook" packages. One minor gripe is that each pair of discs overlap, meaning that to get one out, you often have to remove the one in front of it (they don't actually touch). This is much better than some recent sets that put the discs in fragile cardboard pockets that could scratch them.
UPDATE: The two bonus discs are now being released on their own in a package called Monty Python: The Other British Invasion, so anyone who has the original 14-disc set and Monty Python LIVE or the 16-Ton (and 16-disc) Megaset plus all the Personal Best DVDs in one form or another really no longer has a reason to buy this set unless they want the much more compact packaging. I'm still glad I bought mine, but if the bonus discs had been released right away I probably would have kept what I had and just bought the two new discs. I suppose that's why they waited... either that or it was never intended and they're only releasing them separately now due to public demand.
At any rate, the set is still well worth the money, but it now bears thinking about when all you really have to do is buy another 2-disc set. "
This parrot is no more!
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 09/14/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Six comic delights -- five British guys, and one American. Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.
These six guys created "Monty Python's Flying Circus," a groundbreaking comedy series made of skits. They were sometimes gross, naughty, and always bizarre, and their bizarre humour has influenced everything from "Saturday Night Live" to Jasper Fforde. "The Complete Monty Pythons Flying Circus - Collectors Edition Megaset" brings together the entire series plus some extra performances, but pads it out substantially.
For dozens of episodes, these guys served up skits on every insane subject you can think of: defense against fresh fruit, the Ministry of Funny Walks, sitcoms based on the family life of Attila the Hun, spam, lupin bandit Dennis Moore, obscene children's books, semaphores, racing twits, spam, village idiots, goats, psychotic barbers who moonlight as sexually addled lumberjacks, spam, Vikings, "ALBATROSS!", killer sheep, lobotomies, pantomime horses, Tudor pornography, spamspamspamspam, Royal Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things, the dirty vicar, and giant alien blancmanges who are turning people into Scotsmen.
Certain sketches have reached the point of immortality, especially John Cleese's "dead parrot" sketch, in which he plays an increasingly peeved guy who is trying to return a parrot that was "nailed to its perch" to disguise the fact that it was dead. Also Eric Idle playing the obnoxious guy who constantly thinks of sex, and refers to it as "wink wink, nudge nudge... say no MORE!" And of course, THE SPANISH INQUISTION, whose chief weapons are fear, surprise...
There are also some running jokes, like the pantomime Princess Margaret, and a mysterious knight who walks through hitting people with a dead chicken for no real reason. And of course, Terry Gilliam's cartoons interspersing the skits -- goofy, surreal, interlocked with the skits. Sort of like Saturday morning cartoons if Dali were doing the animating.
Okay, not every skit is funny -- the "Mouse Problem" sketch takes a great idea and stretches it thin. But more often than not, the sketches ARE quite funny, sly and even subversive at times. They also mock just about anything, from government officials to art ("Watteau, dear?" "What a terrible joke!") to censorship to the military ("It's DANGEROUS, sir!").
There are also a pair of live discs, in which the guys also do their best little skits and songs onstage, and they're almost as funny onstage as they are on a soundstage. It's not new or unique, but it's still fun.
The big problem is that the "Personal Best" DVDs are also included, which means that there's a massive load of utterly redundant material on here -- the same sketches in the full-length series, but rearranged by "favorite" status. There are a few fun original nuggets in here -- including Eric Idle playing his own mom and Cleese playing a dirty older version of himself -- but most of it is recycled skits and interviews. Come on, why not bundle the movies in with the series instead?
That said, the whole Monty Python phenomenon is utterly astoundingly -- the entire classic production was put on by men who often dressed up as the world's most unattractive girls, with only a tiny budget and minimal cast. The 70s production values are omnipresent, and they are decidedly un-politically correct. But in a weird way, these only make it even funnier than it would have been otherwise -- the writing and acting are pure, raw, unrefined comedy.
Probably the most memorable actors here are Cleese and Idle. Cleese does his psychotic shrieks better than anyone, as well as having that rubbery lanky body that twists itself into Silly Walks. And Idle not only has amazing comic timing, but he can adjust his voice and body language to... anything, from domestic goddesses to sleazy TV hosts. But the other actors are quite good too, especially Michael Palin, especially when he's playing someone timid or crazy.
This classic comedy series not only became a pop culture staple, but it's still fresh and funny more than thirty years after it was made. The full series is definitely a must-have, but "Complete Monty Pythons Flying Circus - Collectors Edition Megaset" is for those who don't mind paying for some recycled material."
Come on A&E!!! The five stars is for the Python stuff,not th
Jason Pumphrey | Falls Church, Virginia United States | 11/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Enough is enough A&E,here we go again with another Monty Python Megaset,add a some personal best DVD's + the 16 ton set DVD's and few more small extras and there you go,another Monty Megaset(w/high price tag!),this IS the 3rd to date!!! For the $,the 16 ton megaset IS the way to go,and much chaeper to boot!!! Love Monty Python,sick of A&E,such a nice thing to do to us in these economic times!"
For Those Who Haven't One Already - The REAL Complete Set!
Scot Carr | Massachusetts USA | 04/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You have to wonder just what A&E Home Video is trying to do to the fans of this show. The complaints listed in other reviews are correct, have merit, and are dead on, but let's not get into that. I, believe it or not, DIDN'T have any of the other boxed sets, so, throwing caution to the wind, I purchaed this one a while back. Due to my rather haphazard schedule, I'm just finishing this product and, for those who haven't bought any of the other collections, this is spot on!
It contains absolutely anything a "Flying Circus" fan could want, namely the historic series all in one place. It's worth having even if you're NOT a fan of the Circus, because these guys pretty much defined absurdist comedy for a generation. Some folks get it, others don't, but for us who do, and frequently quote sketches, it's a blast!
The bonus stuff is great stuff too, although I have to wonder what the point was of the "Personal Best" documentaries. We already have the sketches on the other DVD's and have seen them on the telly. They even somewhat sanitize and abrogate the classic bits they're repeating. Granted, some of the characters they portrayed in the '70s, namely anything in blackface, can't be repeated in these PC times, but do we really have to shorten them by a few words? The true fan likes them as they are. The new docs are rather amusing and somewhat fill in details for those of us not already aware of them. And, lastly, I rather liked the all-German episode and think it could play well even today on English-speaking television.
Again, repremands to A&E for trying to make us buy the same thing over and over (don't even get me started on "World at War"), but credit for putting together a good package for those of us who don't have it all already."